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Thai Dec factory output up 0.54%, below forecast
[BANGKOK] Thailand's industrial output rose for a second straight month in December, boosted by stronger demand for steel, electronics, rubber and jewellery, but the gain was still small, suggesting the economic recovery remains fragile.
The Industry Ministry said on Tuesday its manufacturing production index (MPI) in December was up 0.54 per cent from a year earlier. A Reuters poll forecast a rise of 2.50 per cent.
In November, output rose a revised 3.88 per cent from a year earlier.
Industrial goods accounted for around 80 per cent of total exports, which rose 6.2 per cent in December from a year earlier after November's 10.2 per cent jump.
Recent improved exports are good news for the trade-dependent economy, which has struggled to grow in the face of weak global and domestic demand. Shipments are worth about two-thirds of Thailand's gross domestic product (GDP).
The ministry said 2016 output rose 0.44 per cent.
Capacity utilisation fell to 63.26 per cent in December from November's 66.71 per cent.
Last week, Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob told Reuters that the central bank was sticking to its forecasts for flat exports this year and GDP growth of 3.2 per cent, the same as in 2016.